Chris Jeyibo passed on last week Friday in a car accident. It’s quite a frightening photo – his car crushed on Magodo Road, Lagos in a way that he couldn’t have escaped, in the middle of the night in a country where emergency services are mostly a myth.
It’s terribly sad in and of itself – whoever this had happened to.
It’s especially sad because of how important Jeyibo’s life and work was, whether you know his name or not. In fact, whether you know his work or not.
The 40-something-year-old was the chief executive of Koga Studios and Koga Entertainment. Koga it was where serious minded TV and film content creators delivered massive technical heavy lifting for themselves or for brands went to. Its studios Kudirat Abiola Way, Lagos were fully equipped long before people looked to invest in production, and expanded rapidly in its wide expanse of land.
Twitter’s political commentariat who watched the popular 100,000 Voices telethon on Channels TV in January 2014, the same one where Obiageli Ezekwesili launched the movement for The Office of the Citizen were watching Koga Studios in action.
It was an audio and TV studio where you could do much of what was possible in Nigeria’s TV and film industry; just down at the other end of the road from the equally impressive Afrinolly studios.
He also owned a TV channel, Koga TV – reaching the mass audience through the GoTV network.
And just this year, he co-presented one of the biggest gifts to Nigeria’s rapidly growing film community when he joined the Elfike Collective to co-produce the big-budget Kemi Adetiba film, The Wedding Party.
Tragically, he will not be there when it opens in all its predictable glory at its Lagos premiere next month.
Based on all the rapid growth in his business over the past five years, it appears he was just finally revving up his engines to stimulate an industry that sorely needs all the brightest minds it can find to harness its growing potential.
There will be a one-week ceremony honouring his memory, mourning his loss and hopefully celebrated a life of monumental achievement starting from 18 October, mostly in Lagos, Nigeria.
He will be missed. And his legacy, hopefully, will live on.
It deserves to.